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View Diary: GOP: Fate of the species, blah blah, we're lookin' good for 2014! (45 comments)

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  •  "Terrifying" is right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justin Doolittle, annan, Nulwee

    This approach will play well with the Republican base, and could help them in 2014.

    It's hard to conceive of how people can deny what is happening all around them.  Perhaps the trait of blindly believing in something that contradicts reality (faith) is a genetic predisposition, and leads a large percentage of the population into lemming-like behavior.

    •  Yes and no. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      never forget, veritas curat, marina

      It's a genetic predisposition in ALL humans.  Many beliefs that contradict reality serve useful purposes in maintaining psychological and social equilibrium.  Like the "Optimism Bias".  It keeps human beings, who are capable of rationally realizing the ultimate futility of their own existence, from falling prey to depression and just quitting.  Those who DO quit, either don't reproduce or don't provide the best support for their genetic kin.  So that little touch of irrationality continues to be passed on.

      However the form of belief you're talking about isn't genetic.  It's very much a learned behavior, and very dependent on personal advantage.  Again, if the irrational belief prevents someone (like my Little Brother referenced above) from having to question their motives and actions, so that they can continue to pursue courses of action which are personally advantageous in the short term but universally destructive a century after they're dead, they will continue to believe the Lie.  Lying to yourself can be incredibly convenient.  So much so that I've had several different Authority Figures lecture me about how my "extreme" insistence on truthfulness is "bad" for me and everyone around me, because "it's asking too much" to demand that people at least be honest with THEMSELVES even if they can't with other people.

      Denial of tangible reality in favor of social reality is in fact a very constructive behavior in the context of an individual attempting to compete within society.  It's seen as a pro-social behavior.  Actually, it's a very selfish behavior masquerading as sociality.  Which goes back to the essence of a Lie.  And is why I came to love Zoroastrianism.

      •  Thanks for your reply. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        veritas curat

        I don't have time to research it, but I remember reading about a study that suggested that conservatives' tendency to adapt less well to change was at least to some extent, likely a genetic predisposition.

        I would not accept this as gospel even if I could quote the source, but I suspect that, like many of our behaviours, it is a mix of nature and nurture.

        I doubt that it is completely predetermined, however, that some people will be right wing fanatics.  I think that environment, conditionong (e.g. parents), life events, education, degree of affluence, and sometimes mental illness all play a role.

      •  The optimism bias has served us humans well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara, marina

        in the past regarding reproductive success.

        Tali sharot has been researching this from a neuroscientific perspective and she has some very interesting things to say about our perceptions of reality. Like,

        So optimism changes subjective reality. The way we expect the world to be changes the way we see it. But it also changes objective reality. It acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
        Apparently, mildly depressed people are the most in touch with the way, as you say, “tangible reality” works. But it is optimistic people who pass on their genes because, happily in denial, they go about their business pursuing reproductive success, while those of us curled up in our beds in the fetal position because of what science is telling us about the fate of our civilization do not.

        And who, exactly, is it that is having most of the babies? Mildly depressed progressives, or nutjob right wing bible thumpers?

        muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

        by veritas curat on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:49:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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